HINCKLEY — Kennebec Valley Community College will host its ninth annual Jazz Gala fundraising event to benefit students 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, March 20, in Carter Hall at KVCC’s Fairfield Campus at 92 Western Ave.

The semi-formal event will feature a New Orleans theme this year, and black tie and masquerade attire are optional. The event will include music by the KVCC Faculty Jazz Band, Bourbon Street-inspired cuisine with a Maine flair, Maine beverages, dancing, and a wide variety of live and silent auction prizes, according to a news release from the college.

“It is a beautiful thing that the KVCC Foundation’s supporters are doing for students,” said Jessica Chamberlain, a second-year student in the Physical Therapist Assistant program, in the release. “This generosity inspires me to reach my goals and get to a financial place where I can help others the way they are helping me. I can’t wait to complete the PTA program so I can start helping people.”

The gala’s success has grown over the years, with last year’s event attracting more than 200 guests from the community.

“Local residents and business leaders have been a huge part of our success in our mission to provide area citizens with an accessible and affordable quality education,” said Michelle Webb, KVCC Foundation executive director, in the release.

Last year also marked a change in the format of the event to spotlight local businesses, restaurants and community partners in a fun “jazzy” atmosphere full of food and music. This year’s event will replicate a walk along Bourbon Street in the roaring ’20s.

The more than $287,000 raised by the gala since 2007 has benefited students at KVCC through support of scholarships and other resources which make a significant difference in the ability of students to successfully complete their programs. Thanks in part to the gala, last year the KVCC Foundation awarded scholarships to reduce the financial burden of college enrollment for more than 210 financially needy students.

For more information on the jazz gala or other opportunities to support KVCC students, call Webb at 453-5020 or email [email protected]. Reservations and sponsorships are available online at www.kvcc.me.edu/pages/foundation/gala.